Wednesday, June 8, 2016

RECIPE: Fresh Strawberries and Ricotta Cheese

RECIPE: Fresh Strawberries and Ricotta Cheese

Pretty basic. Raw milk from Upinngil Farm, Strawberries from Upinngil farm. 

Pick the strawberries and go home and prepare to make the easiest cheese there is. All you need is a strong interest in cheese, fat and all that entails. In addition to that, a nice big stock pot, a thermometer that goes up to 200 degrees, citric acid from the hardware store (or online), some cheese cloth and a gallon of raw milk, or regular whole milk. Mint would be nice as a garnish if it is up yet in your yard.

This recipe for the Cheese Queen who is never wrong about these things.  

Strawberries with Fresh Ricotta

1- quart fresh, local strawberries
1- gallon whole milk
4- tablespoons fresh mint leaves
2- tablespoons grade b maple syrup
1- cup cool water
2- teaspoons citric acid

Equipment:

1- Food Thermometer that goes to 200 degrees
Cheese Cloth
Colander
Slotted Spoon

Dissolve citric acid in water and stir. Pour gallon of milk into a stock pot. Stir in ½ cup of the citric acid into the milk. Heat milk on low to medium and stir to prevent scorching. Tiny curds will begin to appear as they separate from the whey. Bring the mixture to between 180 and 190 degrees. When the mixture gets to the temperature range, the curds will become much more fluffy and rise to the top of the pan. When the whey is no longer milky, remove from the heat. Let the curds and whey rest for ten minutes in the stock pot off the heat so they continue to set.

Line colander with cheese cloth and place over a pan. Slowly remove curds from stock pot with slotted spoon and place into colander with a slotted spoon. Work slowly to prevent the curd from breaking up. When you have all of the curd collected, take the corners of the cheese cloth and tie together to create a small hammock for the cheese. Hang from the faucet of your sink or over a wooden spoon straddling over a bowl. Allow to drain for between 10 minutes and several hours depending on the consistency you desire. The longer it rests, the more dense the cheese becomes.

Wash strawberries and slice in half, length wise, removing the stem. Set aside four sprigs of mint for garnish and cut the rest of the mint into thin ribbons by rolling them and slicing width-wise. Combine mint, strawberries and maple syrup and heat over a small flame. Cook down until the sauce is somewhat thickened, about 10 minutes. Take off heat and cool down

Scoop ricotta like ice cream into small bowls and drizzle the strawberry sauce over it. Garnish each plate with a big strawberry and some mint leaves.  

Saturday, June 4, 2016

RECIPE: HADLEY GRASS SOUP

Photo: Mary Nelen©
It's back and in its last weeks. Grass, Hadley Style. Old timers can tell which side of the river it comes from, just from the taste. Try this recipe for Hadley Grass Soup and you will taste the Valley.

There is nothing in it but a Valley potato, yogurt from Valley cows, chicken broth from a local chicken and asparagus from a field in Hadley

HADLEY GRASS SOUP

RECIPE: Hadley Grass Soup (4 servings)

1 bunch Hadley asparagus
1/2 C + 1/4 C local, whole milk yogurt
2 C homemade chicken broth, unsalted 
Trim ends of asparagus and cut into 1" pieces. Place in boiling water and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside 4 asparagus tips for garnish. When cool, blend asparagus and broth in food processor. Reheat before serving.  When soup is warm, turn off heat and stir in 1/2 C yogurt. Serve in bowls and garnish each with a dollop of yogurt topped with an asparagus tip.  
One serving  - 96 calories, 1.6 g fat, 11.3 g carbohydrates, 9.6 g protein, 3.5 g fiber, 0 mg sodium